As I am entering into my final project as a student I thought it would be a good idea to record my thoughts on my project and share my work with you. Our final costume is meant to be a representation of who we are as makers and as creators. I have had a life-long love affair with ballet and with the 18th century so I saw no better way to express myself than to combine the two. My hopes are to re-create a historical ballet costume that could be found in a modern production. I have chosen an 18th century design by Jean-Baptiste Martin entitled Paysanne Galante (1722) used in the Ballet de la Provencale and other dances. The second portrait is one of my favourites because in my mind she represent Payanne as a real costume. It’s one thing to have a drawing of an idea but it’s another to find a living woman wearing something similar.
More information on this project can be found on The Mended Soul
My mother pointed out last night that this design I am bringing to life is the epitome of an Ornamented Being. I can’t explain the reason but that thought warms my heart.
I am so proud of all of my friends who were able to participate in this gorgeous event!
For more information on The Netherfield Ball (for those with access to BBC2 it’s on right now!) please click me.
I am in my final year studying Costume Interpretation at Wimbledon College of Art in London. In our third year we are assigned three major projects.
The first project will be displayed at the opening of ‘In Fine Style’ at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. More information about that project can be found in this post here. Unfortunately my first and third costumes are still not mine to share but I can happily share with you details about the second costume.
The project was called Ordinary Lives. Part of the assignment was to have this costume completed in six weeks. Unfortunately on the last day of term I started over from WWI and choose to create an 1860s mourning gown which was my very first choice in the beginning.
Why mourning you might ask? I was born in a small town in Tennessee that has direct ties to the Civil War and as a child I often came across items associated with Victorian Mourning in the antique stores. As I grew up my mother encouraged this curiosity. During my breaks when I visit my parents I work with The Woodruff-Fontaine House in Memphis, Tennessee on preserving their amazing costume collection and helping with their exhibitions. Our assignment was to find an image of an everyday person and to recreate their clothing. When I came across Miss Maggie Webber in her second stage of mourning she spoke to me.
I will be discussing the unique features on her undergarments a little later but for now you can see those images here.
All of the long stitches on Maggie’s costume were made by machine but everything else was completed by hand. I am very fond of piping which is reflected in the hand piped armbands, the swiss waist, and neckline of Maggie’s collar. The trim on Maggie’s collar is from an extant costume. According to the dealer the trim came from a shattered 1863 mourning bodice. I find it very fitting that 150 years later it will once again grace a mourning garment. The veil was done by hand and took one and a half episodes of Criminal Minds to complete. The swiss waist was a bit of a challenge simply because I ended up creating my own pattern.
In total, this costume has taken seventeen days to complete. To date I feel that it is one of my strongest pieces and I am very pleased with the outcome. Even though the life of Maggie Webber will forever be shrouded in mystery it is my hope that by recreating her gown I have made sure her memory continues on.
My 1860s mourning undergarments took a grand total of 4 days to finish. I am working on the bodice lining toile right now! I’m hoping to finish this up early next week and prepare for my final costume for the Degree Show!
Unfortunately the Musée Des Beaux-Arts De Lyon’s website is down but I can still share the inspiration for my new gown with you!
The original text reads: “C’est une robe-chemise blanche en mousseline de coton, à traîne, à manches courtes et au décolleté carré. Elle date de 1805 : On l’appelle demi-parure. C’est la tenue idéale que Juliette Récamier pouvait porter le soir pour briller en société ou aller au bal, mais ce n’est pas non plus une robe de Cour”.
Please forgive my terrible English translation (assisted by Google translate when I got stuck): ” A dress of white cotton muslin, train, short sleeves and square neckline. It dates from 1805 and is called a half-set. This is the perfect outfit that Juliette Recamier would wear in the evening (google translate says) to shine in society (?), or go to the ball, but this is not a Court gown. ”
I. am. in. LUST.
late 18th century
Material: straw appliqué with geometric motifs and an arabesque design; a mirror and decorations imitating architecture and plants on the inner side of the lid; an inner box separated into six lidded compartments.Dimension: 22cm (length) / 33cm (width) / 11.2cm (height)
Straw-work sewing box, decorated all over with parquetry. The exterior of the lid is inlaid with sailing ship and townscape marquetry, and there are traces of coloring. Inside surfaces of the box also have parquetry decorations, pigmented with a variety of colors. Straw-work, which was produced throughout Europe in the 18th century, is a craft that involves splitting straws open lengthways, flattening them out, then gluing them together onto paper to form a board that is used for decoration.
Parquetry and the related decoration technique of marquetry were often used in the 17th and 18th centuries. In marquetry, flat pieces of wood used for the background and patterns are placed on top of one another, then a design is cut into them so that one fits into the other. In contrast, parquetry involves cutting the flat pieces of wood into certain shapes, which are then combined to create continuous geometric patterns. The sewing box utilizes both of these techniques.
Thank you to Stéphane Casali for his beautiful portraits from the Hodson event. The rest of the gallery can be seen here.
I have one class left in this semester and the Tudor Tailor book launch (I can’t wait to see our hard work in print!) on Friday. I promise I will start keeping up with my blog! I still have to tell you all about the Titanic II London Launch, I’ve been terrible I’m so sorry everyone!
I’m home! I feel that I must apologize in advance as this week is going to be extremely busy and I won’t have much time to blog! I have to be in class tomorrow, go in Thursday and try to prepare for a final fitting next week on my WWI Nurse, and prepare for the London launch of the Titanic II on Saturday!
I was going to make one post and talk about my costumes that I made for the Hodshon Huis Ball in Haarlem but I’m a bit rushed on time this week. I’ve been terribly naughty by not updating The Mended Soul and once life settles down I’ll get on that right away!
Until then I’ll post a sneak peek of my very first pelisse (see! I do smile in photos!), the dinner, and my favorite lemon tart! I was offered one slice and instead I passed my slice to the waiter (technically they were called our servants but I wasn’t very comfortable with that term) and took the whole plate from him!
Many of my friends have very kindly told me that I resemble Hortense de Beauharnais and so I decided that it would only be fitting to base my ball gown on her portrait.
I hope these will suffice until I am able to make a proper post!
A sneak peek of my costume that will be shown at Buckingham Palace on May 18th. The entire front panel has been hand beaded based on the pattern present on the original garment and a few lace appliques that have then been hand beaded. I had my second to last fitting last night and I am so thrilled with how it has turned out.
Today is the 200th birthday of Pride and Prejudice! I am so proud to be able to live in the UK and celebrate this momentous occasion!
I feel it would be a little unfair to use an Etsy photo without explaining what it is and who it belongs too. I have an Etsy addiction, as a creator I feel it’s much better to buy something handmade and original than to buy something mass produced. These little journals are a perfect example of why! I must admit I am quite taken with their beauty, originality, and their price! I am a huge fan of the P&P cover (which I am hoping will still be there by the end of the day as I am very much in love with it) but also of the London cover (and now I am n love with the Juliet cover).
As a regular participant of Regency dancing and a firm costumer of the early 19th I want to wish you all a very Austen day! I hope that no matter where you are in this vast world, the beauty of the written word continues to inspire you. I hope your day is happy and filled with joy and I send love to you all.
I’m home from the Ball!
You may have noticed that I ended up reworking my gown from Bath but to change it up just a little more I made an evening spencer to go over the gown. I will try to post more about this costume later this week on The Mended Soul!
Bonjour les amis! I’m off too Paris with my University on Tuesday for a quick two day trip. Les Arts Decoratif has Fashioning Fashion on (FINALLY!) and Musée d’Orsay has a lovely Impressionist exhibition that we are going to see.
On Wednesday we have a free day before we have to catch the train back to London later that night. My question is to my fellow costumers and admirers of art, does anyone know if there are any costumes exhibitions on or anything interesting involving costumes whilst staying inside the city?